The ASPCA believes all farm animals sent to slaughter must have a quick death without pain, fear or distress. This requires adherence to current federal laws (which the ASPCA wishes to see strengthened, including the removal of ritual slaughter exemptions, but do provide some protections) and attention to animal welfare at all phases, whether on or off the farm. All downed animals must receive swift and appropriate medical attention, including euthanasia when appropriate. Animals must be rendered insensible to pain at the earliest possible time and in the most humane manner. To this end, the ASPCA advocates for the development and adoption of more humane and reliable methods of stunning and slaughter. Such methods may include controlled atmosphere stunning, controlled atmosphere killing and low atmospheric pressure stunning. Research must be done into the optimal way to use these technologies for each particular species. The ASPCA believes that the federal humane slaughter legislation and regulations should be enforced to the fullest extent possible and should be broadened to include birds such as chickens, turkeys and ducks. Addressing these issues helps animals achieve Freedom from Pain, Injury and Disease and Freedom from Fear and Distress.
 Livestock are covered by the Humane Methods of Livestock Slaughter Act (https://www.animallaw.info/statute/us-food-animal-humane-methods-livestock-slaughter). Poultry are nominally covered by the Poultry Products Inspection Act, which classifies as adulterated any poultry who died other than by slaughter (such as through scalding alive in de-feathering tanks, which USDA acknowledges does occur) – see section (g)(5) at https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCODE-2014-title21/html/USCODE-2014-title21-chap10-sec453.htm